Theros: Beyond Death Previews – Thirst for Meaning

We continue today’s Theros: Beyond Death spoilers with a blue mage’s dream, brought to you courtesy of Lucas Berthoud!


Thirst for Meaning is an obvious and exciting reference to Thirst for Knowledge, a card powerful enough to be restricted in Vintage, magic’s most powerful format, until as recently as 2015. If your deck has plenty of enchantments, 3 mana to draw three cards and then discard one is a great rate, and with the return of Constellation and the rise of enchantments on the horizon once again, Thirst is almost guaranteed to see Standard play!

As for older formats, Thirst, alongside all the other enchanted goodies Theros: Beyond Death is sure to bring, might well be strong enough to inspire new iterations of Enchantress decks, or create them in Pioneer. The heyday of Thirst for Knowledge has passed in Modern and Legacy, but don’t count Thirst for Meaning out just yet!

So is meaning or knowledge more important?… A question for the ages!

See the pro player who revealed it, Lucas Berthoud’s thoughts:

Hey, I am Lucas Berthoud, this was my preview card, so I gave it some thought on how it could be useful.

I think it will allow all sorts of fun, dubious card choices for your decks because of the sound argument that “hey, at least I can discard this to Thirst for Meaning”.

The basics:

  • Useful with enchantments that are good conditionally (like Dead Weight).
  • Watch out for new Sagas, Enchantments and Enchantment Creatures.
  • Fuels the Escape mechanic and reanimation spells, such as Blood for Bones.
  • Instant speed plays well with the Flash archetype.

Rule of thumb would be 10+ enchantments in Constructed decks to look at Thirst for Meaning as a powerful pure card advantage spell.

What about Limited?

  • At 3 mana, it’s cheap and useful at every stage: help you make land drops early, getting rid of excess lands late and finding your bombs.
  • Looking at extra 3 cards is at the sweet spot for this mana investment.
  • We just came from a format where card draw in Unexplained Vision was severely underrated. At Amonkhet, Trial of Knowledge was overrated. The lesson is that there is a lot of value to be gained in figuring out exactly how good those effects are and staying ahead of the curve.
  • If you discard an enchantment, it’s card advantage. If not, it’s filtering. Filtering is usually good enough, but I’d lean hard on prioritizing enchantments to fully abuse it.
  • Don’t forget Card drawing and filtering can sort of fill the role of mana fixing when splashing more colors, because of the added consistency.
  • The downside of card draw spells are their mana investment, as you are taking a turn away from adding to the board to cast them. At 3 mana and instant speed, Thirst for Meaning is at a good spot on the curve. Thirst for Knowledge and Compulsive Research were strong picks.
  • Draw spells have diminishing returns, if you are looking at multiples you need a game plan: extended the game to make use of the extra cards, cheap cards to double spell in later turns, good blockers to invalidate early attackers and powerful/expensive bombs win it late.
  • Keep an eye out for density of Escape cards in the set. Since they are also flood protection, it makes Thirst for Meaning less of a priority.

TRIVIA: Thirst for Meaning is a part of a cycle with Thirst for Knowledge, a classic and powerful from the 2000’s that found its way in three Pro Tour winning decks: Remi Fortier ’07, Antoine Ruel ’05 and Rickard Osterberg ’03.

In the semifinals of Pro Tour Los Angeles 2005, eventual champion Antoine Ruel and eventual Player of the Year Kenji Tsumura both had Thirst for Knowledge in their decks. They played one of my all-time fav matches: (21:40 is the classic “Force Spike” bluff)

Join us later today, as there’s plenty more spoilers to go! Find the full schedule here.

If you’ve not already, be sure to check out our Theros Beyond Death Spoilers page for the full visual card gallery of all the cards revealed so far, and participate in our Theros Beyond Death Preorder Giveaway that runs until January 8, 2020!


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